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Stars shine as alumni support paralyzed student

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Published on: Thursday, June 20, 2013

By Brandy L. Simms

SILVER SPRING – The stars shone brightly at Springbrook High School in early June as Blue Devils’ basketball alumni came out to support Damon Brooks, a former student-athlete who was paralyzed last year after a freak accident.

Jamal Olasewere, Zaid Hearst, Devon Pestano, Demetric Austin and Folarin Campbell were among the former Blue Devils’ standouts in attendance at the second annual all-star basketball tournament bearing Brooks’s name.

The event not only featured former players competing against each other for a good cause but there was also a dunk contest and a variety of raffles.

“It brings back the memories,” said Olasewere, a 2009 Springbrook graduate. “It’s a great place to play. [It’s] for a good cause. Damon’s my little brother, I would do anything to help him out any way we can.”

Olasewere was part of the Springbrook dynasty during his high school career, helping the Blue Devils’ capture consecutive Class 4A state championships as a junior and senior.

During his college days at Long Island University-Brooklyn, Olasewere, a 6-foot-7 forward, helped lead the Blackbirds to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year last season.

Olasewere, who plans to pursue a career in professional basketball, said it was an honor for him to give back to his high school alma mater.

“It feels good to know that we’re all still a family even after all these years,” said Olasewere.

Note: Donations are being accepted for Brooks’s medical expenses, specialized equipment and rehabilitation recovery online at

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